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Your Letters

Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

The recent raid executed at the Strawberry Days Festival by Sheriff Vallario and ICE agents has breached the trust and confidence of residents in the Roaring Fork Valley. These types of rogue operations have significant short- and long-term consequences to communities, and must be condemned.

Aside from what the majority of us would consider blatant civil rights infractions, let’s discuss the economic impacts this raid will have on our community.

Regardless of citizenship, people are the vehicle for spending money. Imagine the impacts to local businesses, real estate sales and rentals, and construction, if any portion of our consumer base stopped spending. The Latino community provides approximately 40 percent in local revenues.

If Sheriff Vallario continues to target local events, what will stop law enforcement from patrolling grocery stores, farmer’s markets, athletic activities or local parks where suspicious immigrants might gather?

A community plagued by fear will have a difficult time recovering economically, when residents are afraid to participate in local events, shop at local merchants’ stores, attend places of worship, buy or rent property, or come out of the house.

Money is green, and the last time I checked it did not require citizenship to be spent. Bottom line, a drop in spending from locals and tourists means a drop in revenues.

Imagine if the raid accidentally popped a tourist from Brazil, because he or she was wearing a baseball cap and matching jersey. These rogue raids hurt all of us on many levels.

Vallario is choosing to abuse tax dollars to target Latinos, because it’s easier than doing the tough work, like arresting rapists, drug dealers, human traffickers and child molesters. Instead, Vallario and ICE arrest peaceful immigrants, while their children are playing in the fun house.

As a bonus, the stress caused a pregnant national to be hospitalized watching her husband and brother-in-law arrested on Father’s Day.

We cannot allow this to happen again, and we all need to take an active role in condemning these Gestapo-style raids on our residents and visitors. Demand compassionate communities legislation, and stop these raids.

Anita Sherman

Glenwood Springs

Illegal immigrant advocate Brendan Greene would have been funny except he was trying to be serious., as quoted in the Post Independent on June 25.

Mr. Greene is upset that our sheriff arrested a known gang member who had previously been deported four times. This miscreant also had a criminal history of felony weapon, larceny and fraud convictions.

Mr. Greene says Sheriff Vallario has “lost the trust” of the Latino community because of this arrest. I say when the trust of part of a community depends on allowing violent criminals to reside therein, do we want such a group’s trust or even their illegal presence?

In the past I might have criticized Lou Vallario a little harshly, but in this instance Lou was right on the money. The sheriff should arrest anyone, anytime, anywhere if they’re displaying gang colors.

Bruno Kirchenwitz


The arrest of two Hispanic gang leaders and illegal aliens prompted the leader of the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition to demand an apology from the Garfield County sheriff and ICE officials. They demand an apology for taking the criminals and handcuffing them in front of their children on Father’s Day.

They would also like both departments to promise to never do this again. The sheriff’s department denies that version. Even if it went down like the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition says, are they serious?

I don’t know if we should laugh or cry at the audacity and ignorance of this organization that represents illegal immigrants in this state.

The sheriff’s department and ICE work for and are paid by the American citizens of this country. They did their job and, in doing so, took two dangerous gang leaders off the street, making everyone safer. If these two had been any other race, nothing would have been said. Social Services would have been called and the children taken away. Nothing would have been said. Father’s Day is not a national day of amnesty for criminals.

Today, this country is being run by politicians who refuse to do anything about securing our borders and ridding our land of the illegal aliens that have come here. Several states, such as Arizona, are trying to do something about it, but end up spending millions in court costs.

Foreign countries such as Mexico have spoken out against these states. Three South American countries have protested southern states’ attempts at passing tough immigration laws.

Washington has turned its back on its citizens and in Arizona’s case sided with foreign countries. Because of this, groups like the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition can speak out demanding apologies for arresting criminals because of their race and immigration status.

Criminals need to be arrested and taken off the streets. These two men have been deported before and came back. They are known gang members. If the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition has a problem with that, that’s too bad.

Norm Shroll

Glenwood Springs

The people who were detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement police at the Strawberry Days carnival are pulling the “race” card.

My husband is Mexican, and more than half the other people there were Hispanic. There was no “raid” going on, so these people must have done something wrong.

Just send then back. It’s a free vacation. The U.S. pays for deportation, and they will be back in a couple of months.

Maybe it will be a wake up call to immigrants to get their papers in order for their kids.

Heidi Nunez


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